If you’re looking for some interesting things to do during your visit to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, you’ve come to the right place. This blog post will introduce you to some of the best attractions in Lancaster and points of interest.
Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or just looking for something fun to do, this Pennsylvania city has something for everyone.
Here are 23+ things to do in Lancaster PA that we know you’re going to love.
COOLEST PLACES TO STAY IN LANCASTER PA
- Most Unique Hotel: The Fulton Steamboat Inn looks like an actual steamboat, making this a unique and fun place to stay in Lancaster. Stay in one of their unique Nautical or Victorian-themed guest rooms, and enjoy an on-site restaurant, heated pool and whirlpool, and a ship-themed playground for the kids.
- Best Pools: Eden Resort and Suites is located just minutes from downtown and Amish Country and features both indoor and outdoor heated pools — and a seasonal heated splashpad for kids! With an amazing on-site restaurant — which features a great Sunday brunch, Eden Resort is a great home base for your Pennsylvania vacation.
- Best Boutique Hotel: The Lancaster Arts Hotel is a boutique hotel that features art-inspired accommodations just minutes from Hershey Park. Lancaster Arts features original works of art, especially creations by local artists, in the lobby and all guestrooms. Their on-site restaurant features locally-grown, farm fresh ingredients and is worth a visit.
LANCASTER CENTRAL MARKET
The Lancaster Central Market is located in the heart of downtown. The market has been in operation since 1730 and is one of the oldest continuously operating farmers’ markets in the United States. The market is home to over 30 vendors selling a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, and other goods. The market is open year-round and draws visitors from all over the region.
The Lancaster Central Market is a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike. The market offers a unique shopping experience where shoppers can find fresh, local produce and goods at great prices.
The market is also a great place to grab a bite to eat, with several food vendors offering a variety of prepared foods. In addition to being a great place to shop and eat, the Lancaster Central Market is also a great place to learn about the region’s history and culture. The market offers a variety of educational programs and tours for visitors of all ages. A visit here is one of the best things to do in Lancaster PA.
NORTH MUSEUM OF NATURE AND SCIENCE
The North Museum of Nature and Science is a natural history museum in Lancaster County PA. The museum has exhibits on dinosaurs, mammals, insects, birds, rocks and minerals, and energy.
The North Museum of Nature and Science also includes a planetarium, an IMAX theater, and a science center. The museum was founded in 1947 as the Lancaster County Historical Society Museum. In 1999, the Lancaster County Historical Society Museum merged with the North Museum of Nature and Science, and is now affiliated with the world-renowned Smithsonian Institution.
THE DEMUTH MUSEUM
The Demuth Museum is a unique experience that offers a look into the life and work of American artist Charles Demuth. The permanent collection contains over 55 Demuth pieces, ranging from watercolors to drawings, giving visitors a chance to see the different styles and mediums he worked in.
In addition to the permanent collection, the museum also features rotating exhibitions of 8-12 works, so there is always something new to see. The museum has an education program that offers classes and workshops for all ages.
Whether you’re a fan of Demuth’s work or just curious about his process, a visit to the Demuth Museum is sure to be enlightening.
LANCASTER MUSEUM OF ART
The Lancaster Museum of Art features a collection of over 400 pieces from 200+ artists. The majority of the works in the collection are 2D paintings, drawings, and collages, but there are also ceramics, wood, and metal sculptures. Some of the highlights from the Permanent Collection have been featured in recent exhibitions. The museum’s long-term goal is to make the full collection available online.
One of the great things about the Lancaster Museum of Art is that it features art from a wide variety of different artists. This means that there is something for everyone at the museum. Whether you’re interested in abstract expressionism or pop art, you’ll be able to find something that catches your eye.
LANCASTER SCIENCE FACTORY
The Lancaster Science Factory is the perfect family-friendly activity. With exhibits on physics, chemistry, biology, and more, there is something for everyone to enjoy at this unique science center.
The Science Factory is also great for a rainy day, as it has a number of indoor activities. Plus, the staff are always happy to help guide visitors through the exhibits.
If you’re looking for a fun activity to do with your family, be sure to check out the Lancaster Science Factory!
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HANDS ON HOUSE, CHILDREN’S MUSEUM
Hands On House, Children’s Museum is a hands-on museum dedicated to children and families. The museum features over 150 interactive exhibits in eight galleries. Visitors can explore the human body, experiment with forces and motion, play in a life-sized treehouse, create art, and much more.
The museum also offers programs and events for all ages. Hands On House, Children’s Museum is a great place to learn and have fun!
HISTORIC ROCK FORD
Historic Rock Ford in Lancaster, PA, is the former home of Revolutionary War General Edward Hand. The historic site includes the mansion house, collections, and grounds, which provide a wealth of information about life in Early America.
Visitors to Historic Rock Ford can learn about the different people who lived and worked on the farm, including slaves, indentured servants, and free laborers. There is also a wealth of information about 18th-century medical practices, as well as military life during the Revolutionary War.
In addition to its educational value, Historic Rock Ford is also a beautiful place to visit, with gardens, hiking trails, and picnicking areas.
Dutch Wonderland is a premier family theme park in Pennsylvania that has been around since 1963. It has been voted the best family park in the world for 2019 and 2021 by Amusement Today magazine.
There are a variety of fun activities to do at Dutch Wonderland, including 35 rides and attractions, Duke’s Lagoon water play area, Exploration Island, and live entertainment.
Whether you’re looking for a great place to spend a day for family fun or want to plan a whole vacation, Dutch Wonderland is definitely worth considering. With so much to offer, it’s no wonder this park has become such a popular destination! It’s one of the best amusement parks in the area.
The Holtwood Dam, located in southern Pennsylvania, is the oldest of three major dams built across the lower Susquehanna River. Constructed between 1905 and 1910 by the Pennsylvania Water & Power Company, the dam was originally named McCalls Ferry Dam after two company executives. In 1918, the dam was renamed Holtwood in honor of these same executives.
Today, the Holtwood Dam provides hydroelectric power to the region while also serving as a popular recreational spot. Visitors can enjoy fishing, hiking trails, and picnicking in the area around the dam. The Holtwood Dam is also an important part of the Susquehanna River’s ecosystem, helping to regulate water levels and create a habitat for various fish and wildlife.
There’s something about covered bridges that just seems to evoke thoughts of old-fashioned charm and romance. And in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Dutch Country, they have plenty of both!
With more than two dozen covered bridges spanning the landscape, the area is a haven for lovers of all things charming and rustic. Each bridge has its own story to tell – often involving long walks hand-in-hand or stolen kisses under the moonlight.
So if you’re looking for a little bit of magic in your life, come visit Lancaster County and wander across our many beautiful covered bridges!
PENNSYLVANIA AMISH COUNTRYSIDE
The Pennsylvania Amish Countryside is a great place to shop for authentic Amish crafts. Additionally, you can enjoy a delicious meal made from authentic Dutch cooking at restaurants like BrickHouse Coffee and Kitchen, Hometown Kitchen, and Plain & Fancy Farm / Smokehouse BBQ, to name a few.
Also, consider a tour with Lokal Experiences! Lokal Experiences is all about providing unique, authentic experiences to visitors of Lancaster County.
They are passionate about leveraging our local knowledge and insights to offer enriching experiences that go beyond the usual tourist traps. They are known for their exceptional knowledge of the history, culture, and insider secrets of Lancaster City and County, and they want to share them with you!
Dutch Haven is the largest Amish souvenir store in the county that has been serving the local Amish community for years. The store is most well-known for its Shoo Fly Pie, which has been featured in Time Magazine.
Dutch Haven is a great place to buy Amish-made furniture, jams, jellies, and other gifts. If you’re looking for a taste of Pennsylvania Dutch culture, be sure to visit Dutch Haven!
FULTON OPERA HOUSE
The Fulton Opera House is a historic theater that hosts a variety of live performances and events. The theater was originally built in 1852, and has undergone several renovations over the years.
Today, the Fulton Opera House is a popular venue for both local and national performers. The theater features a main stage, as well as a smaller black box theater, and is known for its excellent acoustics.
The Opera House is located in Downtown Lancaster and is easily accessible by public transportation.
TURKEY HILL EXPERIENCE
A visit to the Turkey Hill Experience will teach you how ice cream is made!
Through a self-guided tour, you will be able to sit in a milk truck, milk mechanical cows, and learn about the people and culture of Turkey Hill Dairy. You can then create your own virtual ice cream flavor, ice cream package, and a commercial. Then head to the Turkey Hill Taste Lab to bring your creation to life with a pint of ice cream!
Don’t forget to discover and taste tea from around the world in the Tea Discovery Center. And, of course, there are unlimited samples of iced tea and all the ice creams you can dream of!
THE AMISH FARM AND HOUSE TOUR
The Amish Farm and House Tour is a great way to learn about the fascinating life of Lancaster’s Amish people.
The tour starts with a guided house tour, where you’ll learn about the history and heritage of the Amish people. Then, you’ll take a bus tour through the picturesque Amish countryside. Be sure to take plenty of photos!
You’ll also make a stop at an Amish business along the way. After the guided tours, you can spend time on the 15-acre farm. There’s fun for the whole family, with plenty of animals to see and activities to enjoy.
LANCASTER HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE
If you’re looking for a unique way to experience Lancaster County’s Amish Country, you’ll love taking a hot air balloon ride. These hot air balloons offer an unforgettable ambiance as you float through the countryside, providing a unique perspective on the area that you won’t find anywhere else.
Hot air balloon rides last between 2.5 and 3 hours from start to finish, with approximately one hour spent floating along with the breeze. This is a great way to see the stunning countryside at a leisurely pace, giving you plenty of time to take in the sights. You’ll enjoy an exhilarating sensation as you float overhead, and the view is simply unbeatable.
NATIONAL WATCH AND CLOCK MUSEUM
The National Watch and Clock Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in the history and science of timekeeping. With more than 13,000 timepieces on display, it is the largest collection of its kind in North America. The museum features timepieces from all eras and cultures, including a German table clock from 1570.
Visitors can watch the clocks and watches in action, marvel at the intricate mechanics inside, and gain a new appreciation for the artistry and science of timekeeping.
RAILROAD MUSEUM OF PENNSYLVANIA
The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania is a great place to visit if you’re interested in learning about the history of railroads in Pennsylvania.
They have a world-class collection of locomotives and railroad cars, as well as a huge collection of photos and documents. They also have a lot of smaller artifacts on display, including tools, uniforms, tickets, and signage. You can also learn about the people who built and operated the railroads in Pennsylvania.
The museum is a great place to visit if you’re interested in learning more about Pennsylvania’s railroad history.
WOLF SANCTUARY OF PA
The Darlington family has been rescuing and providing refuge to gray wolves and wolf-dogs for over 40 years. What started as a private rescue has now grown into an educational facility open to the public. The Wolf Sanctuary of PA is dedicated to providing the highest quality of care and enrichment for its resident wolves and wolf-dogs.
Visitors to the sanctuary can take part in educational programs and tours, which provide insight into the lives of these amazing animals. The sanctuary is also home to a variety of other wildlife, including eagles, owls, and bobcats. The Wolf Sanctuary of PA provides a much-needed haven for these often misunderstood creatures.
By educating the public about the natural history and behavior of wolves, the sanctuary hopes to change the way people think about these amazing animals.
MILL CREEK FALLS
The 25-foot Mill Creek Falls is only a 5-minute walk from the parking area, and visitors will be rewarded with a beautiful view of the falls. Mill Creek Falls is one of the most popular destinations in York County, and it’s easy to see why – the waterfall is both breathtaking and easy to access. Whether you’re looking for a short hike with a big payoff, or just a place to take in the beauty of nature, Mill Creek Falls is sure to please.
Be sure to also visit Lock 12, which is also located on River Road. For a bit of a hike, you can also hop on the blue-blazed Mason-Dixon Trail & complete a 2-mile loop with some climbs and views of the Susquehanna River.
LANCASTER BREWING COMPANY
Beer brewing has a long history in Lancaster, PA, and the Lancaster Brewing Company is continuing that tradition.
Visit the downtown brewery location for beers, cocktails, and an awesome dinner menu. Chorizo mac & cheese anyone? Their tap room features yummy bites, along with delicious beers of course. Join them for happy hour Wednesday-Friday from 4-6pm for drink specials.
THE CHOO CHOO BARN
The Choo Choo Barn, located in nearby Strasburg, PA, is an attraction you have to see to believe. Since 1961, this fun place has been attracting visitors and train enthusiasts from across the U.S.
The Choo Choo barn features a large model train exhibit. The 1,700 square foot train layout features over 150 hand-built animated figures and vehicles and 22 operating trains. It’s huge, amazing, and you’ll be thoroughly impressed with the attention to detail seen here.
The Strasburg Train Shop is also here, so you can get started with your own model train exhibit.
STRASBURG RAIL ROAD
Speaking of trains, make plans to visit the Strasburg Rail Road while you’re in the area. The Strasburg Rail Road offers historic steam train rides through Lancaster County, PA.
There are several great rides to choose from. The family-friendly, 45-minute ride through the countryside in an open air car is a popular choice. They also offer First Class cars for a bit of luxury.
Looking for a truly memorable experience? Consider their Murder Mystery ride or their Wine and Cheese Train Rides. They even have a Bonnie & Clyde experience!
A ride aboard the Strasburg Rail Road is a must-do activity in Lancaster County.
CHERRY CREST ADVENTURE FARM
Cherry Crest Adventure Farm is the place to go for good, old fashioned, family fun!
At this farm in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Dutch Country, you’ll find special events and activities in the spring, summer, and fall months.
Enjoy a corn maze, baby animals, slides, wagons, jumping pillows, paint ball, duck races, swings, games, and so many other amazing activities. You’ll also find great food, festivals, live music, and entertainment throughout the year.
The corn maze is especially popular here. In fact, it was voted a Top 10 Corn Maze in America in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 by USA Today!
This farm is a one-stop shop for all things fun!
LANDIS VALLEY VILLAGE & FARM MUSEUM
The Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum is a living history museum interpreting Pennsylvania German life from 1740-1940.
Once an actual rural crossroads village, Landis Valley has more than 40 historic structures located on 100 scenic acres. Costumed guides explain Pennsylvania German traditions and folklore, skilled artisans demonstrate traditional crafts and open hearth cooking.
You’ll find special events throughout the year here, and great exhibits and collections in the museum.
The village and museum are open Wednesday-Sunday.
Things To Do in Lancaster PA FAQ
Is Lancaster PA worth visiting?
With beautiful scenery and a relaxed pace, Lancaster, PA, is definitely worth a visit. You’ll love the history and charm of the area, and there are many great museums and scenic drives to take it all in.
What is Lancaster PA best known for?
Lancaster, PA, is best known as the home of the Amish. Amish cooking and crafts are especially popular with tourists.
When is the best time of year to visit Lancaster, PA?
Spring and fall are great times of year to visit Lancaster, PA. During the spring and fall months, you’ll find milder temperatures, festivals, and lots of special events.
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MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO PENNSYLVANIA
- YOUR PENNSYLVANIA VACATION
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- HERSHEY: 14 Yummy Things To Do in Hershey PA You’ll Love
- YORK: 15 Amazing Things To Do in York PA You’ll Love
- GETAWAYS: 19 Amazing Weekend Getaways in PA You’ll Love
WHERE TO STAY IN LANCASTER PA
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